Lakelands has a new Modern Italian Restaurant, have you been yet? This week we got to meet the Owner & Head Chef, Puneet Mahal. He shared his story & his passion for Italian cooking with me. He is looking forward to meeting the Hello Kell readers. Mention this blog post & get a FREE glass of wine with your meal (limit 1 per check), until Sept 1st, 2017!
Kell’s Quick Review… Five Stars – for dinner & night out!
When my Husband said he was taking me somewhere local for my birthday, I didn’t know just how special my experience would be. Sarba’s atmosphere is so posh but relaxed. The staff were very friendly, and always smiling – something I have come to not take for granted in Australia vs. the US! The lighting & decor is so romantic that I hadn’t even realized that they had a kids area! It was also very well hidden, as they sat us on the other side of the restaurant for the quiet diners. We had the Pork Belly & a few Kilpatrick Oysters as a starter, and I had the handmade Gnocchi Polli Funghi for my main – it was ALL DELICIOUS! A glass of the Sauvignon Blanc paired beautifully for me, but they have lots on their drinks menu to choose from.
I had been away on assignment in the Faroe Islands for a month, so my husband and I had lots to stories to catch up on. The noise level was minimal, so talking in a normal tone was easy, and we lost track of time. We waited way too long to order any dessert, and almost cried when they told us they had run out of Tiramisu! It’s my favorite, but trust me, I will never make that mistake again – order early & no sharing! All in all, we ordered 2 starters, 2 mains, a bottle of wine, and even if we had gotten tiramisu, we would have made it out of Sarba’s for under $100. You are seriously missing out if you don’t head to Sarba’s & what more of a perfect time then when you get a free glass of wine!
Q&A with Sarba’s Owner & Head Chef:
What is your life story?
Originally from Melbourne, with an Indian cultural heritage and an Italian cooking heritage, he is now a proud resident of the Perth region. He has a beautiful 5 year-old daughter, Sarba, whom the restaurant is named in honor of.
Why did you decide to open a Restaurant, and specifically an Italian one?
Puneet has been cooking Italian food since he was 16, while he was but a youngster in Melbourne. For the last 20 years, he has loved putting a modern twist on traditional Italian cooking.
Why did you choose Lakelands to open your restaurant?
Chef Puneet lives just 20 minutes up the freeway from Lakelands, and felt that the southern suburbs was really missing an affordable, casual, family-friendly restaurant with upscale flavors that would draw even the most discerning foodies. Mr. Mahal paid special attention to the space, so it would accommodate couples/singles wanting an afternoon/evening out, spacious areas for large groups/parties, and an exciting kids corner for all ages (boasting a kid’s “kitchen”, movies & PS4)! The beautiful vast outdoor patio is now more frequently open, as the weather continues to improve.
What makes the way you do Italian food different?
Sarba’s dining environment has a memorable experience to offer everyone, but the way they do Italian is just as fresh. Puneet believes the key to good food is fresh and local ingredients that haven’t traveled thousands of miles before ending up on your plate. Everything in the kitchen is made by hand with as much fresh local ingredients as he can get.
What would you say is your signature dish?
Chef Puneet loves the Gnocchi Pollo Funghi! So do their customers apparently because, between the two locations, he goes through about 140 kilos of their handmade gnocchi every week! That’s a lot of time & potatoes.
What should someone get for dessert for their anniversary or birthday?
It didn’t take Chef Puneet long to answer me on this one, “Tiramisu!”. My husband actually had scored late night reservations for my late July birthday at Sarba’s, but they had happened to be out of the Tiramisu by the time we leisurely made our way to dessert, so I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying it. Trust me, it was very hard to photograph my favorite dessert before I got to try it!
Do you host large groups & parties? Who should they contact, and how many can you host?
Yes, and they definitely have the space (their capacity is 200 guests). Just contact them on their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to book your date.
Do you need a reservation? How can guests make one?
Chef says you only really need a reservation if you have a big group, or it’s a weekend/special occasion. Just go to their website, facebook, or give them a buzz | (08) 6558 1295 | and the friendly staff will help you book your table.
A little word from the Chef…
Mr. Mahal wants personally thank the community of Lakelands for embracing Sarba’s, and making him feel welcome, while he works hard sharing what he loves with all of you. A profound thank you to Sarba (his daughter), Rebecca La Marca, and all his amazing staff who make every day/night an awesome experience for him and his guests.